Leukemia Oncology Rehabilitation
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Oncology Rehabilitation for Leukemia
Sometimes, leukemia and/or its treatment can affect your physical functioning and energy. For instance, some leukemia treatments may cause fatigue and/or peripheral neuropathy (pain, numbness or tingling in the hands or feet), which can affect your ability to participate in your normal activities.
The oncology rehabilitation team at Cancer Treatment Centers of America (CTCA)—including licensed physical, occupational and speech therapists—can help you in the following ways:
- Overcome physical deficits (e.g., difficulty walking)
- Reduce pain
- Alleviate muscle discomfort
- Improve strength and endurance
- Promote coordination
- Resolve swallowing difficulties
Rehabilitation Therapies for Leukemia
When you arrive at CTCA and prior to your leukemia treatment, you’ll meet with an oncology rehabilitation therapist for a thorough physical assessment. The assessment will evaluate functional deficits and needs. Then, together, you and your rehabilitation therapist will develop a rehabilitation plan based on your treatment goals.
The following are some of the oncology rehabilitation therapies you may incorporate into your leukemia treatment:
- Physical Therapy: This type of oncology rehab combines range-of- motion training with light resistance exercises to help alleviate breathing problems, improve appetite, relieve constipation, reduce stress and increase energy.
- Occupational Therapy: These therapies can help you perform daily living activities, such as grooming, dressing, showering and eating, so you can continue to live as independently as possible.
- Auriculotherapy: This non-invasive technique, which involves an electrical stimulation to the external ear, can help alleviate side effects, such as balance problems, nausea, shortness of breath and fatigue.
- ReBuilder: This form of oncology rehab involves an electronic stimulation to an affected area (such as the hands and feet) to increase tactile sensory and awareness, can help improve peripheral neuropathy.
- Massage Therapy: This type of touch therapy can help restore a sense of harmony, relaxation and well-being during leukemia treatment.
- Interactive Metronome: This series of computer-generated sounds to measure a rhythmic beat and response can be used to increase concentration and improve balance, function and cognition during leukemia treatment.
- Speech and Language Pathology: Some leukemia treatments may cause dry mouth or difficulty swallowing, which can limit your ability to eat. A speech therapist will work with other members of your care team to address these problems.
A Team Approach
Throughout your leukemia treatment, your rehabilitation therapist will consult regularly with the other members of your CTCA care team to help improve your physical functioning and sense of well-being. Everyone works together to find solutions that meet your individual needs.
Our oncology rehabilitation team also provides an educational component to help you understand the physical and psychological benefits of physical restoration, and to help prepare you and your family for continuing the program at home.
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